Brutal and Awesome (Damn Good Fiction)
5 out of 5 stars
What do you get when you combine two of my favorite post-apocalyptic authors in one book? Brutal and Awesome. Oh wait, you didn’t want how I would describe Nicholas Sansbury Smith and Tom Abrahams as people? Kidding, of course, this story is both. It’s brutal, like, had me almost pausing it numerous times when the VX-99 soldier was feeding. But, it’s also awesome. Abrahams wrote the original story and NSS added and rewrote some of it with him and you can tell that they have honed in on what makes both the Extinction Cycle Series great and this book so damn enjoyable.
This was one of those books that felt comfortable. Not because nothing happens (because it’s quite the opposite) but because it’s in a world liked and it was written by two people whose work I’m intimately familiar with. It’s like going back to your hometown and still knowing where to get the best pizza or cheapest drinks.
Red Line takes place over two distinct time lines one during the Vietnam war and another in 1980. It also takes place in a few different places. The majority are in a secret bunker in USAMRIID (thank you, thank you, thank you for having Pinchot say the nickname of this place right, that instantly makes me want to put a book down when it’s spelled out instead of said “you-Sam-rid”) and in the jungles of Vietnam. Both the timeline and the location switches were needed and were perfectly crafted to make you feel like a switch was needed instead of feeling like a plinko ball on the way down the board with time and place changes.
I thought that the characters were all well written and thought out allowing you to be scared, feel joy/relief, or even grieve with and for them.
As I said in my intro above, this story was awesome. And that isn’t hyperbole. I was, numerous times, filled with awe as I read Red Line. It was one of those how close to the edge can I get without throwing people over kind of books.
The ending (while not spoiling or giving away anything into the full series) ended in a way that shocked me a bit and allowed immense closure to a book (almost in a standalone way which is rare for a prequel) but also draws you in closer, making the series that much more interesting.
Take everything I said above and throw in the narration by Bronson Pinchot, who did the rest of the Extinction Cycle books and you have an absolute winner. What a book. Damn good fiction. Fiction with and edge… where you feel like you need a drink after you finish a chapter.
The only thing that makes me sad about this is that I want more books where Arbrahams and Smith work together and I’m not sure if there are any more (in EC or outside of that world) in the cards. I sure hope so because they are a powerhouse together.
Extinction Red Line by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Tom Abrahams
Narrator: Bronson Pinchot
Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
Series: Extinction Cycle #0
Published by Blackstone Audio on December 18th 2018
Genres: Bio-Thriller, Post-Apocalyptic, Thriller
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The official prequel and origin story of the best-selling Extinction Cycle series!
One marine’s end is the beginning of our extinction....
For a dozen years, villagers along the ancient Da River in Vietnam have feared a nightmarish creature who hunts and consumes human flesh. Only in whispers do they mention its name, The White Ghost.
To the United States military, this creature has a different name - Marine Lieutenant Trevor Brett, the chemically engineered experiment gone wrong that they will do anything to hide. Sole survivor of his platoon, Brett has stalked the jungle for prey for over a decade. But the men who made him into a monster are searching for him, and when they find him, the line between hunter and hunted will be blurred.
I received this book for free. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.